For those of you that have never seen MacGyver (yes, I’m showing my age here) he was a character working for either the government, a secret foundation or just your general damsel in distress.  He used to get himself into dangerours situations or places he had to escape from and no matter what he was up against he was always able to defeat the enemy.  Not with weapons but his ability to create gadgets out of everyday things.

So what has that got to do with a party planner? Well when your are working a party, I think it’s the best description of what you tend to be most of the time.  It’s not that glamorous and I can’t even count the number of times my assistant Sara has helped me with a set-up and turned to me and said, “this is so MacGyver!”  This is usually shortly after a “oh no what are we going to do now?!”

I have to laugh because it is so true.  So many venues won’t let you stick something to the wall or hang something from the ceiling, there aren’t enough outlets, someone forgets something, or something comes apart.  I have to expect the unexpected everytime.

Over the course of many events my tool caddy has become the most important thing I carry.  So what’s in there?  What caddy do I use?  What do I recommend?

Let’s start with my list of requirements for a good caddy, they are extensive & I can be fussy.  Well so hubby says…whatever!

It must be:

  • easy to carry;
  • comfortable grip;
  • easily accesible;
  • have plenty of room;
  • include various pocket sizes to split items out;
  • not too heavy when full;
  • sturdy
  • cost effective;
  • SUPER cute!

I’ve tried the traditional tool box and while they are great for bigger items, they are clunky and difficult to get into quickly.  I have a bad back and they get heavy quickly so I also prefer something lighter.  I’ve tried bags, even a rolling caddy.  These were disasters for me as I shoved too much in there and lost everything in it.

Now I finally have the PERFECT tool caddy and I am so stoked cause I won it! Yahooo! I saw it on Instagram, entered, somehow won (!) and it couldn’t be more perfect.  It comes from Everything Mary and it’s super cute….eee! Party girls have to rock a look!  

Here’s the link (this is NOT an affiliate, this is just where you can find it)

Mine is under the “Organizers”, its called the “Wampus Caddy” and its $24.95.  The grip on this is just perfect, so soft and I love the colors.  

As you can see from my website I’m a big gray fan.  There are lots of options on her site and you can tell Mary has the same requirements I do.  You are bound to find the perfect option for you too and now you know they meet all the criteria above!  

So what do I put in it?! Well my tools fit into 2 main categories. 1) things I use to put things up or “party set-up”; and 2) things I use to take things down, or “party take down”.  

  1. The Set-Up
  • Ties – Elastic strips, rubber bands & plastic ties (these are beyond useful, you can tie them to posts and hang things from them rather than sticking on a hook)!
  • Hooks – Temporary stick on, magnetic and S bend
  • Grips – Safety pins, paper clips, mini binder clips and photo booth grips – all strengths!
  • Glue – For any occasion, you never know when you are going to have to glue glitter to something! Just saying! So many to choose from but I use Beacon as they cover all my needs – gems, fabric and glitter!
  • Tapes – Mounting tape, velcro, double sided stick on mounts, glue dots, washi tape and cellotape
  • Staples – Staple gun and spare staples
  • Cutting Tools – Scissors (fabric, flower & paper), cutting blades (big, large & rotary) and hole punches
  • Hot Glue – Glue gun & spare glue sticks (varying colors)
  • Wire & String – Fishing, flower, gold & black wire, picture string and twine
  • Tools – Hammer, screwdriver, measuring tape and foam cutter
  • Touch Ups – Markers (gold & black), chalk pens and paintbrushes
  • Sticks – Spare cake pop sticks (don’t ask! I’ve needed them more than once)
  • Magic – Blu-tak (this is similar to mounting putty here in the USA. I get it in bulk when I am home in NZ as it is stronger, it holds everything and comes off clean)

2. The Take-Down

  • Cleaning – Goo gone & clear away marker
  • Tools – Pliers, staple remover, pencil sharpner, tweezers & scraper
  • Bags – Little ziplock & garbage
  • Labels – Chalk, post it or sticker labels (so you can return things to the right boxes)
  • Pens – to write checks!

The other miscellaneous items I always keep in my carry-all are for my health and comfort!

  • Hand sanitizer (you don’t want to know what I have to touch sometimes!)
  • Hand cream (ick to dry hands – Udderly Smooth is my go-to, must be the kiwi in me, I can’t resist the cow!)
  • Pain killers (any, just kill it!)
  • Spare CONFETTI!! lol

If you have decided to do a DIY décor, wedding, you are working a party or hosting a party at home, you are going to love having these things at hand.  You’ll be able to handle any décor emergency!

I also recommend carrying your phone (easily slips in the caddy by the way) and a clipboard with your key documents (run sheets, contracts, contact numbers, to-do’s, venue map & floor plan, timeline schedule etc) as well as a larger kit in your car containing:

  • Water;
  • Planner ‘on the day’ outfit (I change into this from my grunge gear prior to guests arriving – plain black pants & top, comfy shoes, a quick lick of make up and a hair tie);
  • First aid & basic sewing kits;
  • Spare candles, LED lights & lighter/matches;
  • Batteries;
  • Extension cords;
  • Mini steamer;
  • Hair, outfit and personal hygiene emergency kit*

I’ve included a checklist of these items for you, so you can tick them off  – while shopping or before you head to your event.  Enjoy! Happy DIY!

Click Here to Download: Party Set-Up Tool Kit Checklist

*Note: There are lots of great lists for what to have on hand for hair, outfit and personal hygiene emergencies.  My favorite and most complete list can be found here